Monday, September 28, 2009

Tractor Pull

Time for the annual Pedal Pull during Fireman's Field Days in our little town.
This will be the last year that the twins can compete.
We never really stand a chance against those farm guys and gals.
Fun anyway.

I lost track of twin boy, but soon spotted him in a tree.
Silly me, I was looking on the ground.

There he is, waiting anxiously in the 4 Square shirt...

There he goes!

She's so excited!

Good Sports.

Now the real contest begins...the Tractor Pull

This is serious business.

Small Town, U.S.A.

Friday, September 25, 2009


I like the idea of everybody having a style.
Attractive, repulsive, popular or weird...I think everybody does.

When I was teaching first grade, the bad kids always intrigued me.
I loved their style.
They were so tiny. Such little people,
and yet they were distinctive - different - they stood out in the crowd.

Not their clothes or their face...
their style.

I knew they were naughty, incorrigible,
sometimes stinky,
erratic and compulsive.

But they had a certain flair to them.

Being the big person in the room, it was easy to step back
and see them for who they were.
Little beings just pounding around inside their bodies,
trying to get noticed, trying to yank some love out of somebody.

They fascinated me.
I secretly loved their style.

I had to carry one down to the office once and he kicked me in the leg.
It was easy to love him. It barely hurt.
And it sorta felt like...he finally reached out to me, you know?
Even if it was his sneaker to my shin.

How come it's so much harder to love big people?
Maybe it's because we're the same size,
in the same class,
competing for the same attention.

I betcha it's not so hard for God to love people.
Big ones, small ones.
Dirty, selfish, proud, silly ones.

He'd probably like to help us out more than we let him.

He probably really likes our style.


When They Can't Sleep

When they can't sleep, it goes like this:

I cuddle them for a few minutes,
listening to their sad tale of bad dreams
or scary thoughts, or stuffy noses or just general discomfort.
I make low, sympathetic noises and nod my head.

Then I suggest that they put a pair of pajamas on,
instead of the jeans and shirt that they are still wearing.
I say maybe the ponytail can go too.
I ask about whether the teeth have been brushed and then
send them on to complete these tasks, asking them
to come back down when they're ready.

I give them my full attention after that.

I point to the dog and say he needs to go out.
When they come back in I show them
the laundry by the stairs because it needs to be folded.
And after that I send them down to the basement
to throw the wash into the dryer.

As they complete each thing, they return to me a little slower,
a little more sleepy,
a little less happy about being out of bed.

Finally they ask me
if they can try to go to sleep again,
and I let them,
because I am a good mamma,
and my babies need their sleep.


Thursday, September 24, 2009

Grocery II

Just a few comments this morning about grocery shopping:

1. I love shopping at Walmart, because I don't feel like I have to comb my hair or anything before I get there. This isn't a commentary on the people who work or shop at Walmart, it's just the subliminal message Walmart seems to send to all of us, like the good old church tune,

"Come Just As You Are."

2. I saw these Slipper Genies again, (pictured) and stopped to check them out.
Last time I was there my kids begged me to get some for myself. I can just imagine from their point of view what it would be like to have a mother who glides across the floor
in her Slipper Genies to clean it instead of kneeling on hands and knees, muttering to herself.
Such a happy picture.

3. Cereal is way way way way overpriced. Seriously, 7 bucks for two boxes of cereal?? Seriously??
I got oatmeal.

4. Jiffy's Corn Muffin Mix is still one of the best buys around.
I bought 2 boxes. I don't even need any Jiffy Corn Muffin Mix.
I just wanted to buy something that cost 33 cents.

5. I didn't injure myself, but the incident of the day was making a big pen mark on my face with the ballpoint I was holding. I had my cell phone in the same hand and tried to make a quick call.
I spent a couple of minutes hiding in Office Supplies rubbing it off with my finger and some spit.

Have a great day and Happy Grocery Shopping!


Monday, September 21, 2009


I haven't had a cookie in a really long time.

Wait, I had one at church a couple of weeks ago,
but that doesn't count because I hadn't had breakfast
and I was starving, foraging in the church kitchen
right after I played music for the service, but before the service got out.

It's like my regular little jaunt after walking off the platform.
I just keep going, right out the back door of the sanctuary,
on down the stairs, in search of a bathroom, some coffee and stray food
before I go back in to sit with the family.

So anyway, the cookie doesn't count because I was so hungry
I barely even recognized its edible-ility
before I mashed it into my mouth and swallowed it.

Sometimes I get like that.


Do you know how sometimes you just
need a cookie?

You can be washing dishes, or typing on the computer
or walking up the stairs and suddenly it just washes over you and you think,
"I need a cookie."

That happens to me a lot,
but I can almost never find a cookie right at the very moment of
my greatest need.

Until tonight.

I was sitting here checking my mail when suddenly that familiar feeling rose up.
I was about to push it back down, because there are never any cookies around here,
when it dawned on me that in the bread drawer was an entire package
of Cool Mint Creme Oreo cookies.

I had bought them for Company yesterday, unsure of whether there would be enough desserts. The ice cream and cookies were the dessert back-up plan.

It was too good to be true.

I wanted a cookie,
and I had a cookie.

And I have never tried a Cool Mint Creme Oreo Cookie before.

I took a bite of it.
A slow warmth spread through my chest.

"This is wonderful," I said as I took another bite.

I looked at the little piece left in my hand.

"You are wonderful," I said to it, aloud.

The dog looked at me funny.
The Teenager called, "What?" from the other room.

But I am not ashamed.


Sunday, September 20, 2009


It is a known fact that when I go to the grocery store, there will be an incident.
I can't help myself, I am incident-prone.

Yesterday, dropping in after church to pick up Ice
and one other thing that I could not remember no matter how many aisles I wandered,
I checked out.

Except that I zipped the ribbon from my shirt-sleeve into my purse.

Immediately I was surrounded by store personnel.
One was carrying my Ice,
one was holding my receipt,
one was asking to help.

I said to none of them in particular, "This is awkward."

The bagger was kind and forthright,
treating my incident as completely normal.
His large fingers closed on the tiny ribbon and expertly yanked it out of the zipper,
sending me on my way.

I think he had been standing there waiting for me.
Maybe they had all been alerted as soon as I stepped into the store.

Would she upset the pyramid of pears?
Would she have another incident involving a shopping cart?
Might she injure herself today?
Will she become light-headed in produce
or hyperventilate while choosing cereal?
Will she run over her own foot or
catch the edge of the diaper display as she is rounding a corner?

Will she even make it out alive??


Saturday, September 19, 2009

Funky Blogger

I'm so fickle.
But I love that the blog allows me this.
It is a free expression of me - not a job, not a requirement, not an expectation,
not a duty.
There is a beauty about being able to leave it undone, without consequence,
when I need to.
That's probably why I've kept up with it,
not left it abandoned like so many other projects in my life.
Because I don't have to do it.

All that said, here I am back again.
If you read this blog, you'll find that sometimes it lets you down.
Doesn't follow through.
Doesn't keep up.

There you go.

Today is a Saturday and ahead of me are two hours
of sitting under the Spirit Tent
selling Spirit items.

I don't know what these things will be.
Maybe insulated soda can holders.
Maybe t-shirts and hats and keychains.
Maybe a big foam "number one" finger.

I will sit there proudly, with the cash box.
I will pretend I am one of the gang of mothers
who always volunteer at these games.
I will nod and smile, waving "hey" to passerby acquaintances.

But I will always be a half-step out of sync
with the rhythm of this rec league machinery.
My head will not really be in the game.
My Spirit shirt will be a little too new,
and my hat will not quite be broken in.

She will look over for reassurance
that I am there.

And that is why.